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The Ideal Cut Diamond


In 1919 a young Russian mathematician, Marcel Tolkowsky, wrote a Master thesis, Diamond Design, on the proportions for Round Brilliant Cut diamond.  He systematically analyzed the optics of a diamond and estimated the best proportions for cutting round brilliant diamonds. This became the basis of what is now known as ‘The Ideal Cut’.

The above diagram shows the proportions of a diamond in Tolkowsky’s Ideal Cut.


But it has taken more than 50 years for diamond cutters to realize that the theorem put forward by Tolkowsky predicted a range of proportions and not just a single set of parameters.  Tolkowsky was also aware that there was a trade-off between maximum brilliance and maximum fire that would result from varying combinations of crown and pavilion angles.

For those not in the diamond trade, it must be noted that a diamond cut is a design guide used for shaping a diamond.  Cut does not refer to the shape (such as round brilliant, pear or oval) but the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond.  The cut will have a great impact on a diamond’s brilliance and will dictate the luminosity of it.

Today’s Ideal Cut follows closely those strict proportions of Tolkowsky’s original model with some changes as technology, notably laser cutting and CAD, improves on how a diamond is cut, taking into consideration the balance between best optical performance and the maximum retention of weight.

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I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, USA. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar (Burma) in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines, and Mogok, the world’s famous rubies and sapphires mines in upper Burma, with my second son. Three of my children are also Graduate Gemologist, GIA, NYC and they deal in diamonds, gemstones and jade. 我是在美国纽约市的美国宝石学院(GIA)接受过培训的宝石研究学家。 我拥有英国克兰菲尔德大学的工商管理硕士学位和数学学士学位。我以前的职业是银行家,直到90年代初我在缅甸接触到玉石。我曾经和我的次子一起去过缅甸上流传说中的哈帕翡翠矿山和莫谷矿山, 莫谷矿山是世界上著名的红宝石和蓝宝石矿山。我的三个孩子都是纽约市GIA毕业的宝石研究学家, 他们专门处理钻石,宝石和玉石.